For the first time ever in recorded history, scientists have unearthed complete skeletal remains of a baby Pentaceratops. For those who don’t know: Pentaceratops is a plant-eating species of dinosaur boasting large horns. Tens of millions of years back, dinos belonging to this species used to roam around the area we now know as North America. The remains were eventually airlifted by means of a helicopter.
The fossils were first spotted by paleontologists representing the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science, a history and science museum in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The discovery took place way back in 2011, when the team from the museum visited the Bisti Wilderness, a place located in the state’s northwestern territories, for a trek.
The moment the paleontologists saw the vastness of the discovery, they understood that they will need to find out an effective way of excavating and bringing the fossils to the museum so that scientists can further study the remains.
After more than four years of planning, hard work, and paper pushing, the museum has managed to find out a way of bringing the remains to the museum. It has recently used a National Guard Black Hawk helicopter for plucking the skull of the baby Pentaceratops from the wilderness. The skull, which was enclosed in plaster during the transportation taking place last Thursday, was airlifted to a waiting cargo truck.
Here, it must be mentioned that the team used the same method even for bringing an adult Pentaceratops’ skull to the museum. The skull of the adult Pentaceratops was found around 10 miles away from the place where paleontologists spotted the remains of the baby plant-eating dino.
The mission had mostly been successful. However, due to muddy conditions, the team has not yet been able to transport the third and the last plaster jacket, which contains the remaining parts of the baby dino’s skeleton. That plaster jacket will be transported later, but the date is not finalized yet.
The museum couldn’t use traditional methods of digging and removing fossils as the crews had to work within the wilderness. For those who don’t know: no mechanized equipment or vehicles are allowed in the wilderness.
The fossils will now be on display at the New Mexico Museum. That’s not all; people visiting the museum will also be able to see paleontologists working with them.